by Debra A. Reitz
It sounds like a really dumb question! Who, in their right mind, would choose to commit social suicide? We need to live in society, or so we are told. “It takes a village” is the common cry among the progressives who attempt to embrace all society has to offer and incorporate it into their personal, subjective lifestyle of selective faith.
This is worldly wisdom, and we know where things of the world lead, do we not?
What is social suicide and why do we need to commit it? Not only do we need to commit it, we are commanded to commit it!
Social suicide is putting to death to the ways of the world, or society in general… i.e. our peers from before we put on Christ in baptism and added to a new kingdom, the church. We develop new priorities.
We all have peers or contemporaries with whom we must associate for work, school, sports, and general functions of life. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “social” as a word deriving from the origin of the idea of being “allies” or “companions.” It carries the idea of joining together with something.
We get the word “society” from the idea of the association of all people living in the world. That is a very broad concept of society. Those of us in the Body of Christ are familiar with the “community” or “society” concept of the ekklesia or church. It is a public association of the disciples who follow Jesus, the Christ. It is OUR society and OUR social network.
How does God view us? First off, when we put on Jesus in the act of baptism, we join ourselves to him and begin following him. We imitate Jesus and are added to the society or body of believers (Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 3:27).
We are commanded to be a separate people from all other people in the world, firstly by our love for one another (John 13:34-35).
This very idea, given to the Apostles from the Lord was to cause all people to look at his followers in a different light, the light of love for our spiritual family. Family, community, and society express this idea of being conjoined together in Christ.
Our preference must be for each other and it must be demonstrated publicly in the form of love for one another. That makes us very different from basic society. This is not the social norm. We are to be a peculiar people (I Peter 2: 9-10).
Peter made it quite plain. We are a society called out of another society to be different from all others. So, have you committed social suicide yet? Have you separated yourself from the common attitudes of your peers? Have you embraced modesty in all things over the peer pressure to fit in?
Have you selected your church family to take precedence over your social companions? Have you decided to think for yourself, via God’s word, and tell the world its wisdom does not matter to you?
If you answered no any of these questions, you have not committed social suicide.
We must take a stand for God, on his side, on his behalf, and for his glory. You cannot have one foot in the Kingdom and one foot in the world. It is time to commit social suicide!
Debra worships with the Point Pleasant Church of Christ in Hebron, Kentucky
J. Randal Matheny
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